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Called in to Newcastle Mazda in Cardiff, NSW (hereafter called 'Cardiff') - they just got a red RX-8 in the day before - loved it instantly but wanted blue and auto.
'sign up today and we'll give you a 5 night holiday in Port Stephens' - Shane, the senior salesman said.
So we signed up on 20 July and paid the $5,000 deposit there and then.
Even though the Sydney drive day was only a week or so away they knew nothing at all about it - that alone should have sent alarm bells ringing we now realise, so even though we were preorder customers we didn't get to go to it.
Went home, thought about it and realised total price was a bit high - Checked with Gosford Mazda then called Cardiff the next day and they took $1,000 off the price - mainly by deleting the so-called 'Free Holiday' - that didn't worry us - it was in a golf resort and we don't even play golf.
Shane and the junior salesman, Mark, said they would contact us 'tomorrow' with details of the order and delivery date etc as that was not even written on the contract anywhere. In the end I called them back (a pattern that was to remain) to ask them about the deal and was told delivery was to be in late October.
One special point that was written on the contract was that our deal was 'Subject to test drive'. We both understood this to mean that when they got our car in we were to test drive THAT car and if we didn't like it, we could walk away. Imagine our surprise when Mark later said that 'we meant test driving ANY RX-8 - not yours specifcally'. Consumer Affairs agreed with us on this point for what it is worth.
A few weeks then went by with us hearing nothing from Cardiff and we got curious and called Mazda Australia and were told that there were a couple of unsold cars available in the specification we wanted - one of them was in McGrath Mazda Sutherland and had been seen all through August by a work colleague who lives nearby and who bought his black one there in July.
So after calling Cardiff and letting them know that we knew of a couple of cars they could try to get they said that they would check the stock control and let us know where our car is - but of course they never called back about that which was their MO by now.
So on Sunday August 28 we got fed up with what we saw as a lack of effort and communication from Cardiff and faxed themf and very politely (and as it turns out, extremely naively) asked to cancel our contract with them and have our $5,000 deposit fully refunded.
Several days later - on September 3rd - Mark finally called me about that fax and asked me what was going on. I told him that we were extremely unhappy with them - they never return calls, failed to correctly fill out the contract, were vague about the delivery date (which should have been written on the contract) and wouldn't even make the effort to procure a vehicle from a Sydney dealer that had been unsold for 3 weeks by then - all they did was take the deposit money and sit on the order.
Later that day I finally got to talk to someone higher up the ladder than the junior salesman and all he said was 'you can't cancel the contract' and 'we'll see you in court then'. That set the tone in our dealings with them for the next SIX months - yes it really did take THAT long to get some money back from them.
By this time (early September 2003) we had arranged to buy the one from the Sutherland dealer and when we picked it up the saleswoman told me that Cardiff had called and blasted them for taking a customer off them - I thought that was the rudest thing I had ever heard - the hide of them and I had my chance to tell Cardiff that a day or two later when I said to them 'as far as I know I can buy one and from any dealer' This they reluctantly agreed was true. No doubt they were furious their service dollars for their vehicle for the next few years had just evaporated.
It was at this time we chose to alert Mazda Australia's Customer Service Manager, Steve Groves, of our dealings with Cardiff (on 9/9/03) . He was 'sorry to hear we had cancelled a contract but they don't involve themselves in the affairs of their dealers' he said. But he later did get involved and became our only conduit to a dealership that simply refused to return our calls and delayed refunding any deposit until mid March 2004, so thank you SG for your help.
Emailed Steve Groves 21/11/03 telling him we were still waiting for Cardiff and he emailed back on 2/12/03 saying that Cardiff would get in touch soon.
Well Christmas came and went and still no word - we are nothing if not patient people - and I emailed Steve Groves again on 4/2/04 and said we were STILL waiting to hear from Cardiff.
He then gave me a contact number for a Steve McCarty who is higher up the ladder at Cardiff than I had ever reached before but every time I called him - solidly for a week in Feb 2004 - I was told 'he is in a meeting', 'he is on another line', 'he is very busy' - and every time I left my name and number he never once returned my call. This was taking rudeness to heights we thought even they couldn't reach.
So after yet another email to Steve Groves explaining Cardiff was rudely not returning my calls and I simply didn't know what to do next he emailed and said Steve McCarty had been trying to call me but couldn't get through - how odd that other people could and I did NOT leave my desk from 8-12:30 and 1pm-4pm - surely enough time to call if he had bothered to try ?
When Steve McCarty's call finally came (on 3/3/04) it was as though it was July 2003 all over again - he was reciting the familiar 'you broke the contract' and basically said we will keep what we are legally entitled to and refund you the rest. I said words to the effect of 'fine, just send the cheque to our home address' There was nothing more to say really - we had been told by our solicitor that to fight this matter in court would end up costing us more than we would get awarded - and he did expect we would win as our contract was so full of holes it was ridiculous so rather than throw good money after bad, we ended it and on 16/03/04 we received our cheque.
We realised early on that we were naive in expecting to be let out of the contract but we didn't deserve the treatment we got from Cardiff - they acted like spoilt children and not mature business people. Naturally none of our friends or family would buy a key ring from them now, much less a car. And the golf resort that the so called 'Free Holiday' was to go to is now in receivership to top it all off !
By the end of 2003 the whole debacle had long ceased to simply be about getting the money back - we weren't expecting much more than our legally entitled amount by then and we weren't surprised there - it was exactly that and no more - but we are still amazed that it took them so long to simply issue a cheque for $1550.50 - not a huge sum for a car dealer to come up with surely. Especially since they had been sitting on our $5,000 since July 2003 and we were damned sure they weren't going to get the lot of it.
Perhaps we should have examined their actual location closer - Cardiff is not really the kind of place you would expect to find a luxury car and seems more suited to the other vehicles for sale in their dealership and the adjacent dealerships - Daewoo and Kia and the like.
Sutherland on the other hand couldn't be more different and is all the better for it - nothing is too much trouble and they are providing an extra 3 year warranty on the car by getting it serviced there - unheard of in Cardiff.
So although we may have lost some $ this time, we have years and years of new car buying ahead of us so the real losers in future will people like Cardiff who won't get our business ever again.
Quite possibly they consider us the customers from hell - we of course share a similar view about them. We realise we broke the contract but we feel they drove us to it and it was so full of holes it was ridiculous. Oh well, we are older and wiser now :-)
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Jeffneil, sorry to hear about the poor treatment you received. Maybe next time you'd be better off using a credit card for the deposit, this way you have the might of a large financial institution to back you up.
I have never put a deposit down on a car, each time I'm asked I tell them that I would prefer to pay in full when I receive the car in full. Two car yards never liked that deal, their loss not mine.
With regards to Cardiff calling the other car yard and blasting them for "stealing" a customer, this is an offence as there has been a serious breach of the privacy act. Maybe you might want to contact the ACCC to investigate this as it seems your personal details had not been protected. Such an offence carries a maximum penalty of $10,000.
Hope you enjoy your new 8 and you can put all this behind you as a learning experience
2003 RX8 Black leather pack 6MT
1998 RX7 Blue
1990 MX5 red
One of the car yards that requested a deposit when i was looking for a Porsche refused even a test drive without the signing of an order and a deposit. I politely said no thanks and bought the 7 instead.
Another car yard selling Mercs insisted on a deposit otherwise the contract is not a legally binding document. Again I said no thanks and bought the 8 instead. Funny thing, the 8 was a pre-order but I never wanted delivery till October. The car yard had it in their showroom since July. Late August they called me to ask me if I'd like to take the car now, I said I requested Oct delivery. They said no probs, but if it's because of finance the you can take it now and pay Oct, again I said no.
BMW has never been an issue, even to the tune of allowing me to have an M3 and M5 for a weekend each to test out.
Jeffneil, I think you git burnt with the wrong car yard.
Would be ineteresting if our HSV salesman member can clarify the issue of the need of deposits for new car orders.
2003 RX8 Black leather pack 6MT
1998 RX7 Blue
1990 MX5 red
I can totally relate to your treatment by Newcastle Mazda at Cardiff. I live in Newcastle and when I decided back in May 2003 to place my order for an 8, I went to both Mazda dealerships in Newcastle to see who would give me the best price and earliest delivery date.
Initially the female saleswoman I dealt with at Cardiff was quite nice. When it came time to talk prices though, that is when the manager (don't know his name) took over. Immediately he tried to do the hard sell and pressure me in to signing a contract right there. He was extremely pushy to the point where I was so uncomfortable that I wanted to walk out on the spot!
When I insisted that I would think about it for a couple of days, the manager put even more pressure on me, saying that demand was so high that waiting a day or two might mean an extra 6 weeks wait on delivery. (This was in May!) I knew from speaking to Regal Mazda (the other Newcaslte dealer) that this was complete BS. I was so offended when I left, that I was tempted to call the female sales woman I dealt with first to tell her that she had just witnessed an example of exactly what NOT to do to sell a car.
I ended up ordering my 8 from Regal motors the next day. The sales staff there were excellent.
Take that Cardiff Mazda! I hope there are some potential RX-8 owners out there who read this thread and take their business elsewhere. What goes around, comes around.
I continue to be amazed at how the motor retail business seems to be the ONLY business segment in Australia that continues to treat customers this way.
I guess there are stories of how consumers ripped off dealers but for the life of me, I cant see how a the law can support a process that sees the dealer keep $3500 which represents profit alone.
There is NO way the dealer deserved that money.
I work in the banking industry and despite the 'evil bank' press, none of the ban I'vce worked for would EVER behave this way on ethical principles.
I really think Fair Trading and the Motor Trades bodies should be consulted, probably with the facilitation of NRMA to try to get the 'penalty to reflect the damage to the dealer' For God's sake, its not like they actually secured you a car!! And its not like they couldn't have sold it to someone else anyway ...
I'd also like to think that MA would have a more interested approach...
If that dealer even makes the slightest suggestion you are a 'customer from hell' make sure you send your story above to the local newspaper.
I guess we can expect any salesperson to play hard (but fair) on a deal, even perhaps pocketing a few extra dollars if we as consumers don't put them through their paces.
But not returning phone calls and being plain unresponsive to customers is inexcusable and, IMHO, the worst sin a salesperson can make.
I hope MA does read this thread, because it is clear to me that their dealer, Newcastle Mazda at Cardiff, sucks! The dealer principal of Newcastle Mazda clearly has no ethics at all, and their sales staff are totally unprofessional.
Michael Taylor, if you are still out there looking at this site from time to time, you might want to help the mototring public by publishing this experience and others like it in Motor
Used to own:Velocity Red Rx-8 6sp (lightweight performance model ) zoom-zoom!
Thanks guys, for the words of support. Yes it has been a deal best forgotten but I wanted to let people know what can happen out there !
The main reason I waited so long to let you all know was they took so long to refund me some of the deposit. Might not have got anything back if word got out that we think they are a pack of mongrels :-)
Interesting to hear that Wildcard is also not impressed by Cardiff.
Still, we voice our disapproval with our wallets eh !
The best advice I can give is to insist that ALL parts of the contract are filled out - ours didn't even have a delivery date so there was no way out for us there.
But I signed it and I had to abide by it when they said 'you broke the contract' - I could only agree.
Obviously from the start all they wanted to do was take the order and deposit and sit back and wait for a car to arrive...eventually.
I did suggest to Steve McGrath that Cardiff use our money to send their staff on customer relations courses as we feel they needed to learn a thing or two.
We did speak to Fair Trading but without actually suing Cardiff to get ALL the deposit $$ back they couldn't really do anything except sound sympathetic. I think I would have had a better case through Fair Trading if I had not have sent Cardiff the fax saying we wanted to cancel the contract - oh well, you live and learn !
But, yes, we are *loving* our 8 and hope to get years of enjoyment out of it - like you all do I'm sure ! Manual or Auto - these really are fantastic cars.
I reckon you should at least log this experience in the Good Guy/Bad Guy section of the forum, so other potential purchasers are at least aware of potential problems dealing with Newcastle Mazda. However, all comments you make must be factual.
Used to own:Velocity Red Rx-8 6sp (lightweight performance model ) zoom-zoom!
What this dealer has done is not acceptable, they have not displayed any signs of customer service at all, but to put all dealers in the same basket is not fair, the law provides for the protection of the consumer more than the dealer, they cant keep that amount, you have grounds to claim most of it back, and for the banks, dont get me started there.
My contract as filled out by Cardiff looks like this:
As you can see there is a lot left out - including the delivery date on the first page...(not shown)
ALL of these areas should have been filled in according to my legal advice. But I couldn't even hold Cardiff to the point that states I could get out of the contract if they haven't delivered the car in 30 days - very conveniently they left the delivery date off the contract.
Dale - I don't think any of us were saying that ALL dealers were not to be trusted - only a lot of them :-) Seriously though - people like McGrath Sutherland where we DID buy an RX-8 are excellent and will probably get our future car buying business - if the deal is good enough !
Um - there was supposed to be a picture with that last post - hopefully it will be here to explain the things I said .
Seems like I am having trouble showing the pic - oh well, all I wanted to show was that after the first line showing the sale price of the vehicle there is absolutely nothing else filled in below that - not even a gst or lct breakdown. Very slack huh? This is of course the standard MTA contract for NSW.
Greetings All, and especially Lock and Load - we thought everyone was putting down a $5,000 deposit for the car at pre-release so we really didn't think anything of it at the time.
Of course, I will never do it again - I agree - a few hundred bucks should be sufficient.
Also don't forget the purchase price was lowered by $1,000 AND it was for an auto.
So yes, we were naive this time - but the red one looked so great in the showroom we just had to have one :-)
We didn't *need* it - we already have two cars under 4 years old and didn't trade either of them in but with no kids and just the two of us to please we thought 'why not - you only live once' !
But frankly I can't see any way of taking this any further without spending large sums of money chasing Cardiff in the courts so this forum is probably the only place I can spread the word - avoid Cardiff like the plague ! Losing the money is *extremely* annoying but life goes on. So people - tell your friends who *not* to buy a car - any car - from !!
I'd love to hear that the higher people in MA are reading this forum - perhaps they need to know what is being said about someof their dealers - good and bad.
Well we did contact consumer affairs just after sending that fateful fax to cancel the order with Cardiff and Consumer Affairs seemed to agree we had a case but they really weren't prepared to put that in anything concrete.
They did agree with us that where it stated on the contract that our deal was 'Subject to test drive' whether we took delivery of the car or not - written in the 'Special conditions' panel by Mark the salesman - that applied to our allocated car and did not not mean 'any RX-8' as Cardiff tried to claim they meant after the deal went sour.
Semantics really - we say, they say sort of thing in the end !
But the pic with this email (if it comes out!) is from the part of the contract - and we all have the same clause - stating that the dealer keeps 5% of the total price if the customer fails to take delivery of the vehicle and THAT is what they held us to so that's how they got their $3,450 which they are probably still crowing about knowing them.
Well verbral contract is a contract itself. I am sure you still have the receipt with a day on it... If I am the judge ... I have the day of the receipt of the deposit vs the date on the cheque of refund. Even Judge Itoh will say you win!
Motor or Wheels should know this. You write and we back you up in the editor's coloumn for sure!
Don't let the bastard get away. What do you have to lose! TELL THE WORLD!!!!
TAKA 八仔ブログ(blog) TrAcKie Anonymous *** with Best track results : | Winton: 1:41.8660 | Broadford 1:09.83 | Sandown 1:31.73 | Philip Island GP circuit 1:59.86 |]Haunted Hills (DD ver.) 60.198 | Wakefield Park 1:13.95